The global Protein Data Bank (PDB) was the first open-access digital archive in biology. The history and evolution of the PDB are described, together with the ways in which molecular structural biology data and information are collected, curated, validated, archived, and disseminated by the members of the Worldwide Protein Data Bank organization (wwPDB; http://wwpdb.org). Particular emphasis is placed on the role of community in establishing the standards and policies by which the PDB archive is managed day-to-day.
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